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How to Care for Cuts Inside the Mouth Close to the Teeth

author image Donna Pleis, RDH, BSBA
Donna Pleis has been writing dental and health-related articles since 1991 when she began writing for a national publication called the “The Doctor’s Press.” She worked 18 years as a dental hygienist and many years in the insurance industry. Her education includes the University of Pittsburgh for dental hygiene and St. Joseph College for a degree in business administration.
How to Care for Cuts Inside the Mouth Close to the Teeth
Woman flossing her teeth in a bathroom mirror. Photo Credit Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

Cuts in your mouth, especially near your teeth, are commonly the result of vigorous flossing. However, using toothpicks, eating sharp foods and wearing mouth jewelry can also cause injuries to your gum tissue. More serious mouth cuts, requiring immediate medical care, are frequently due to sports-related injuries, falls or traumatic events as car accidents.

Caring for Cuts at Home

Cuts in the mouth heal rapidly, and in most cases no medical treatment is needed. But until your cut heals, you should eat soft foods, avoiding foods and drinks that are acidic or alcoholic. It's important to keep the area clean by rinsing after eating and brushing the affected area gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. For mild discomfort, rinsing a few times a day with warm saltwater rinse -- 1 teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of water -- often helps. You may also use an antiseptic mouth wash.

When to Seek Care

If you have mouth cuts that are large and gaping, won't stop bleeding or expose the root of your tooth, see your dentist. A doctor or dentist should also examine any cut that has dirt or debris or shows signs of infection, such as drainage. Large cuts may need sutures to prevent further damage to your gum tissue and to protect the tissues on your tooth’s root. After treatment, the dentist will provide you with specific home care instructions, which may include eating soft foods, along with strategies to manage pain and prevent infection.

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